In this article we examine why Hungary, despite having the best football team in the world, did not enter the competition at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. We examine several explanations and find them to be based on errors and misconceptions. Given the significance of sport in socialist societies, we believe that the most likely explanation lies in the relationship between the Hungarian communist regime and that of the Soviet Union. Ongoing archival research suggests that the Hungarian regime did not enter a football team because it wanted to assist the Soviet Union in winning the gold medal, which it was thought would demonstrate the moral superiority of communism. This proposition is supported by a 2012 interview with Jenö Buzánszky, one of the two survivors of the Hungarian team.
Field of Research
210307 European History (excl British, Classical Greek and Roman)
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